Current as of: 2010
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Tennessee Code > Title 65 > Chapter 4 > Part 1 > § 65-4-125. Changes in telecommunications service provider — Regulation — Enforcement — Surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit
Current as of: 2010
(a) No telecommunications service provider, and no person acting on behalf of any telecommunications service provider, shall designate or change the provider of telecommunications services to a subscriber if the provider or person acting on behalf of the provider knows or reasonably should know that such provider or person does not have the authorization of such subscriber.
(b) No telecommunications service provider, and no person acting on behalf of any telecommunications service provider, shall bill and collect from any subscriber to telecommunications services any charges for services to which the provider or person acting on behalf of the provider knows or reasonably should know such subscriber has not subscribed, or any amount in excess of that specified in the tariff or contract governing the charges for such services.
(c) The Tennessee regulatory authority shall establish a consumer complaint form on the Internet for reporting telecommunications service providers or persons acting on their behalf who charge the provider of telecommunications services in violation of the provisions of this section. Any Internet sites which are maintained by the authority, the general assembly or the governor's office shall contain a link to such form.
(d) The Tennessee regulatory authority shall adopt rules implementing the provisions of this section, including, without limitation, rules specifying the manner in which subscriber authorization may be obtained and confirmed.
(e) The Tennessee regulatory authority may entertain and decide complaints and issue orders, including, without limitation, show cause orders, to enforce the provisions of this section and its rules against any telecommunications service provider, or any person acting on behalf of any telecommunications service provider.
(f) A telecommunications provider or person acting on behalf of a telecommunications provider who violates any provision of this section, any regulation promulgated pursuant to this section or any order issued to enforce the provisions of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day of any such violation. Such civil penalty shall be due and payable to the authority and shall be credited to the public utility account. The authority shall consider mitigating factors as raised by the telecommunications service provider in assessing the amount of the civil penalty. The authority shall allocate at least twenty-five percent (25%) of the revenue collected from such civil penalty for consumer education.
(g) Any telecommunications provider or person acting on behalf of a telecommunications provider who violates the provisions of this section or regulations promulgated pursuant to this section shall pay damages to each subscriber affected by such conduct in an amount equal to all charges and fees for services for which the subscriber has not subscribed, including all amounts in excess of allowable charges for such services, and any cost incurred to reinstate the subscriber's original telecommunications service.
(h) This section shall not have the effect of amending or superseding any provisions of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977, compiled in title 47, chapter 18, part 1.
(i) This section shall not have the effect of superseding any existing rules of the Tennessee regulatory authority, or any order or proceeding to enforce such existing rules. Any such existing rules shall remain in effect until such time as the Tennessee regulatory authority adopts new rules pursuant to this section.
(j) By September 1, 2000, all telecommunications service providers subject to the control and jurisdiction of the authority, except those owners or operators of public telephone service who pay annual inspection and supervision fees pursuant to § 65-4-301(b), or any telecommunications service provider that owns and operates equipment facilities in Tennessee with a value of more than five million dollars ($5,000,000), shall file with the authority a corporate surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) to secure the payment of any monetary sanction imposed in any enforcement proceeding, brought under this title or the Consumer Telemarketing Protection Act of 1990, compiled in title 47, chapter 18, part 15, by or on behalf of the authority.
[Acts 1998, ch. 709, §§ 1-5; 2000, ch. 586, §§ 1-3.]
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